Borden's Naval Aid Bill, 1912

The naval race between the United Kingdom and Germany caused the self-governing dominions of the British Empire to offer ships to the Royal Navy: the battleship Malaya and battle cruiser New Zealand were outright gifts, and Australia added HMAS Australia to the Royal Australia Navy. The government of Canada also wanted to offer ships, and the Bill below was the result. It was put before the Canadian Parliament by Sir Robert Borden, the Conservative Prime Minister, and eventually passed by the House of Commons. However, it was defeated in the Liberal-dominated Senate. Had it received Royal Assent, most probably three battleships would have been built (improved versions of the Queen Elizabeth class), possibly called Acadia, Quebec and Ontario.

The source of the text is Appendix IX of Gilbert Tucker's The Naval Service of Canada, volume 1 (King's Printer, Ottawa, 1952).

2nd Session, 12 Parliament, 3 George V., 1912-13


Bill 21

An Act to authorize measures for increasing the effective naval forces of the Empire.

HIS MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:-

1. This Act may be cited as The Naval Aid Act.

2. From and out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of Canada there may be paid and applied a sum not exceeding thirty-five million dollars for the purpose of immediately increasing the effective naval forces of the Empire.

3. That said sum shall be used and applied under the direction of the Governor in Council in the construction and equipment of battleships or armoured cruisers of the most modern and powerful type.

4. The said ships when constructed and equipped shall be placed by the Governor in Council at the disposal of His Majesty for the common defence of the Empire.

5. The said sum shall be paid, used and applied and the said ships shall be constructed and placed at the disposal of His Majesty subject to such terms, conditions and arrangements as may be agreed upon between the Governor in Council and His Majesty's Government.

Last Updated: 28 February, 2000.

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